London - Post-divorce, gold bands and diamonds are usually locked away in a safety-deposit box or stashed in the back of a bedroom drawer to gather dust.

But now some women are finding novel ways to reclaim their jewellery without being burdened by its history. Instead, they’re melting down their wedding bands and engagement rings to create new pieces with new designs.

Those working in the UK jewellery industry say that it’s a fast-growing trend - with calls for “divorce rings” doubling in the past year.

For some divorcees, they’re worn as a permanent reminder of the relationship they once had. For others, it’s to celebrate a fresh start - or simply about being able to find a way to continue wearing a ring they love.

As Suzanne Paskin, from Element Jewellery in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, says: “Many women don’t want to sell their ‘married jewellery’, as we call it. They want to re-invent and recycle it.

“So we’ll help clients to create a new item, something that re-writes their emotional story using the gold and diamonds that they already have.”

Mother-of-two Sarah Knight, 39, is one of those who are opting to make their old diamonds into something new and beautiful. Sarah, a publicity consultant from Monton, Manchester, had her platinum engagement ring melted down and the five diamonds removed after splitting up with her husband two years ago.

“I wanted to create something positive from a piece of jewellery that had taken on a new significance - to find a way of treasuring what I had and moving on - so I had the diamonds taken out to reuse,” she says.

“I’m in the process of having them made into a necklace that I can present to my daughter as a gift on her 16th birthday.

“I’m working with jewellers in Manchester - they’re going to help me come up with a unique design.

“I think it will be a beautiful way to preserve something that was so special to me for such a long time.

“It feels very liberating - and much better than having it unworn in a box somewhere.” - Daily Mail